What Would You Give Up

It’s a bit late, but my eleven year old has just heard of the credit crunch. I don’t think she clearly understands what it means but she knows enough to realise that consumers have to give up things we would’ve otherwise had.

She came into the kitchen while I was cooking and asked me a simple question. ‘What would you give up?’ I have to admit I was stumped. Not only did I not have an answer, the question had not even occurred to me before she asked it.

What would I give up.

I thought about my shopping and realised that I haven’t been putting anything in my shopping trolley that I could actually leave out. I considered the clothes I’d gotten for the kids and there was nothing I would return to the rack, was I given the choice.

I already save on electricity and gas. Entertaining the kids is always done sensibly. In my mind I wildly tried to find something I could easily do without. I don’t like wear make-up unless it’s put on me for work, my hair is a wash-and-go mode that needs no styling, and our social circles are made up of people who specialise in ‘everyone-bring-a-pot’ parties.

I still can’t answer the question, but it made me realise one thing. Living well and comfortably takes a lot less than most people think. We have a good life. Like most people we have a mortgage and bills, and live within our means. Our lives, comfortable though it is, hasn’t come from buying more than we need. Comfort for us has been getting exactly what we need and just the right amount of what we want.

Overspending has been a curse for so long, that it took this current economic downturn to make us realise that a good living can be had for much less than we previously thought. It’s widely believed that we’re on our way out of the recession, but if it were to get worse and you had to tighten your belt further to keep spending at a minimum, what would you give up?

Read more in my book, ‘How to Spend Less.’ Details on this page.

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Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

I've already pinched all my pennies as is, so I don't know if I have anything else to give up!

Leigh Russell November 4, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

I always try not to spend money but my credit card bill is always higher in the school holidays than when I'm at work and can't spend anything.

Simon November 4, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

I don't possess credit cards or a mobile telephone or indeed a car.If I were to give up something else it would be the television,since I hardly ever watch it anyway.My children are all grown up,so my expenditure has reduced dramatically.I suppose reducing my consumption of beer,but then again,that is usually coupled with convivial conversation in my local pub,so thats out!Difficult!

Anne Lyken-Garner November 4, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

Icy, Leigh and Simon, thanks for the visit.

Simon welcome to A blogger's books. Hope you'll visit again. You're right. I only have young children, but am aware that they cost a lot of money - a lot. :-)

apples November 5, 2009 at 10:44 PM  

I spent five months in Uganda last year. It took me about as long to actually buy anything when I got back home to Norway.

I know how little I need. I survived on noodles and vegetables for months. I showered every three days in freezing cold water (lil tip: afternoons are best, the sun heats the up the water tanks). I washed my three t-shirts until my knuckles bled and the fabric was torn.

And I know the little I had would be a luxury to everyone around me.

What would I give up? I've tried giving up everything but chocolate.. (chocoholic? yep, that's me). I can't wait to do that again :)

Anne Lyken-Garner November 6, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

Apples, you're so right. I grew up in a poor country so I know that what you're saying is spot on. The mere fact that we're reading this suggests that we are wealthier than a large proportion of the world's population. We have access to a computer and Internet.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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